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Tips for Managing Holiday Eating


It’s hard to eat well around the holidays, full of rich meals and desserts. With planning, you can celebrate without losing track of your healthy lifestyle or blood glucose targets. Enjoy holiday foods by keeping the portions under control and eating mindfully. The average adult eats about 3,000 calories in one holiday dinner. Thinking through the meal allows you to pick and choose which items you prefer the most. You don’t have to eat them all.

Appetizer: Fill a small plate, stopping by the veggie and low fat dip first (bean dip, hummus, low fat ranch). Watch portions of cheese or meat, and keep crackers to a handful. Don’t hover near food, socialize. You do not want to be “stuffed” before you sit down for your meal.

Entrée: Use Create Your Plate – fill 1/2 the plate with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or Brussels sprouts. Add 1/4 starches like sweet potato, stuffing, or corn casserole. Choose your favorites and watch portions. Fill the last 1/4 with lean protein, (roasted turkey, chicken, ham or fish). Save fruit and dairy sides to swap for a dessert substitution. Remember, the amount of carbohydrate is more important in controlling blood glucose levels than the type.

Dessert: Keep portions small, eat slowly and enjoy your choice. Consider pumpkin custard (pie without crust), apple crisp, chocolate dipped fruit or low fat cheesecake mousse.

Help balance holiday splurges by staying active – take an energizing walk with family or friends after the meal.

Author: Patricia Holt, Registered Dietitian, CDE